Technical Solutions

Movies – Before Filming

Before filming, ready the camera as described below.


The D4 supports the following sound recording features:

External Microphone

The optional ME-1 stereo microphone can be used to record sound in stereo or to avoid recording lens noise during autofocus.
To reduce low-frequency noise, including that produced by wind, rotate the low-cut filter switch from FLAT to L-CUT.


Noise from the switch may be recorded if the control is operated during filming.


Headphones can be attached via the headphone connector so that you can check sound during filming.


Headphone and microphone settings cannot be adjusted during shooting; before recording, check headphone volume in the live view display and adjust headphone volume and microphone sensitivity as necessary.

Microphone Sensitivity

Microphone sensitivity can be adjusted before recording using the Movie settings > Microphone option in the setting shooting menu.

If sound levels can be predicted, adjust sensitivity manually so that peak volume does not exceed 12 db.

Choose Auto if sound levels cannot be predicted in advance.

Movie Settings

The following options can be adjusted using Movie settings.

Frame Size, Frame Rate, and Movie Quality

Frame size, frame rate, and movie quality can be chosen using Frame size/ frame rate and Movie quality. The camera offers sizes of 1,920 x 1,080, 1,280 x 720, and 640 x 424 pixels, rates of 60 (59.94), 30 (29.97), 25, or 24 (23.976) fps, and normal and high quality.

Frame size/frame rate
Movie quality

Image Area

Using an FX lens with movie live view gives you a choice of two crops in addition to the standard FX-based format:

  1. To record movies with a crop factor 2.7x that of an FX-format lens used with a non-DX image area, select a "1,920 x 1,080 crop" option for Movie options > Frame size/ frame rate in the shooting menu.

    The effective lens focal length will increased by 2.7x for a telephoto effect and movies will be recorded at a higher quality than when an FX-based movie format is used.

  2. To record movies with a crop factor of 1.5x, select DX for image area > Choose image area in the shooting menu.


Movies recorded at this setting show a slight drop in image quality when compared to movies recorded in an FX-based movie format.

The image left shows three image area options (aspect ratio 16:9) on an FX-format image area for viewfinder shooting or live view photography.


Choose the slot to which movies are recorded. The menu shows the time available on each card; recording ends automatically when no time remains.

Live view can be used to record movies up to 29 minutes 59 seconds in length.

ISO Sensitivity Range

Choose the range of ISO sensitivities available during recording in modes and


Because noise* tends to increase at high ISO sensitivities, the 200 to 12800 range is recommended for most situations.

*Randomly spaced bright pixels, fog, and lines.

Starting Movie Live View

1 Select movie live view.

Rotate the live view selector to .

2 Start live view.

Press the button.

Shutter-Release Button

If Record movies is selected for Custom Setting g4 (Assign shutter button), you can press the shutter-elease button halfway once to start live view and then press it halfway again to focus* or all the way down to start recording**. To end movie live view, press the button.

*Autofocus only.
**See details in Movie – Shooting section.

Exposure Mode

Before recording, press the button and rotate the main command dial to choose an exposure mode. The settings that can be adjusted in movie live view are determined by the exposure mode as shown below:

  Aperture Shutter speed ISO sensitivity Exposure comp.

* Slower speeds produce smoother results: at a frame rate of 30 fps, for example, choose speeds between 1/30 s and 1/125 s. If flickering lights cause flicker or banding in the movie, change the shutter speed and check the effect in the monitor. If the local power supply is 50 Hz, choose a shutter speed of 1/50 s.

White Balance

Press the button and rotate the main command dial to choose a white balance option.


You must exit live view to measure preset white balance*.

*See more detail in Matching Setting to Your Goal – White Balance section page.

Using Autofocus

To focus using autofocus, rotate the focus-mode sector to AF and select autofocus and AF-area modes as described below.

Choosing a Focus Mode

Press the AF-mode button and rotate the main command dial until the desired mode is displayed in the monitor.

Choose from AF-S (single-servo AF) and AF-F (full-time servo AF):
If AF-F is selected, the camera will focus continuously during shooting and live view.

Option Description
AF-S The camera focuses when the shutter-release button is pressed halfway. If the camera is able to focus, the focus point will be displayed in green and focus will lock while the shutter release button is pressed halfway.
AF-F The camera focuses continuously until the shutter release button is pressed halfway to lock focus. The focus point is displayed in green when the camera focuses.

Choosing an AF-Area Mode

Press the AF-mode button and rotate the main command dial until the desired mode is displayed in the monitor.

Face priority AF: Camera focuses on faces. If multiple faces* are detected, desired subject can be chosen with multi-selector.
Wide-area AF: For handheld shots of landscapes and other subjects. Focus point can be positioned with multi-selector.
Normal-area AF: Use multi-selector to position focus point for pinpoint focus on selected spot in frame.
Subject-tracking AF: Position focus point over subject and press center of multi-selector to track subject as it moves through frame. Press center of multi-selector again to end tracking.

*up to 35.


The built-in microphone may record sounds made by the lens during autofocus. The optional ME-1 stereo microphone can be used to avoid recording lens noise during autofocus.

Lens Vibration Reduction(VR)

We recommend using VR lenses with the vibration reduction ON/OFF switch in the position.

If the lens has a vibration reduction mode switch, choose NORMAL for handheld photography or when using a monopod. Vibration reduction should generally be turned off when the camera is on a tripod, although an exception can be made for a lens such as the AF-S NIKKOR 200mm f/2G ED VR II, which automatically detects tripod vibration.

Vibration reduction should also be turned off if you notice shake during filming when panning a camera that is mounted on a tripod.

Tripod Mode

Some lenses, such as the AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR, offer vibration reduction with a TRIPOD option that is generally recommended when the camera is mounted on a tripod.

NORMAL is however preferred if the tripod head is not fixed or you are using a monopod.

Adjusting Settings During Live View

You can highlight the microphone sensitivity, headphone volume, or monitor brightness indicator in the live view display by holding and pressing or , and then adjust the highlighted setting by pressing or .


Microphone sensitivity and headphone volume cannot be adjusted during recording, and brightness applies to the display in the monitor only and has no effect on actual movies.

Information Display

Press the button to choose the information displayed during movie live view. Hide indicators when the camera is connected to an external recording device*.

*See more details in HDMI output page in Movies – Shooting.

Checking Focus

If Zoom on/off is selected for Custom Setting f1*>Live view, you can press the center of the multi-selector to zoom in on the current focus point. The initial zoom setting can be selected from low, medium, and high magnification by highlighting Zoom on/off option in the multi-selector center button menu and pressing . Focus zoom is not available during movie recording.

*Multi-selector center button

Subject Tracking

In subject-tracking AF, pressing the center of the multi-selector locks tracking on the subject in the focus point*. Press the button to zoom in on your subject and check focus.

*See Choosing an AF-Area Mode page in Movies – Before Filming section as reference.


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